As with most places we all cruise
to, it's important to be polite to the locals, respect their culture and traditions, and appreciate all that each area has to offer. I found, in general, the Philippines to be a knock out awesomely beautiful place, with really nice people and reasonable prices. Yea, you gotta negotiate, but be sure to do it with a smile and remember the local custom is not to negotiate too hard. That said, there is a lot of petty crime. Don't leave things on deck
unattended, they might disappear. In certain parts
of the Islands, you will have to post a watch at night, even at anchor
. We found paying bribes was spotty. Some places it was accepted and expected, in many, I think even offering a gift would have landed you in jail.
I forgot to mention Brunei and Borneo on my last post. Don't miss those! Going up the short river to Kuching is a treat -- you'll smell the pepper trees and the short river journey is great. Look for the mountain with the snow on top as you chug up the river.